A surprise club ballot place came round really quickly... Training (slowly) seemed to work for a change and running twice a week was also part of a sensible plan. With runs to Ashurst, Lyndhurst and Gosport,.. mainly in Rain, Dark and Snow... I was ready for "The Big One".
Thunderstorms the night before ruined any chance of an early night, and a 4.00am alarm for a 5.30am coach was a shock to the system!!!. Arriving at the start line around 8.30, was a great feeling, It was very warm by the time I entered my pen at 9.30, very compact and busy... the Elite went off and we followed around 10.40. My training and plan was to run 25 minutes, then walk 5. Feeling fresh but boiling, I somehow went off with the crowd and ran the first 8 miles, I stopped for a foot issue and applied some Vaseline, kindly supplied by my amazing support team (Girlfriend).
The crowds were amazing, and wearing my charity shirt, I had so many shouts... Not sure if I had drank too little or too much, but by mile 11, I saw lots of people doing the same. I started to feel faint and drifted left towards the barriers... by Tower Bridge, I felt sick to go with the dizzy spell and was unsure what was going on. The Bridge indicates that you have made half-way point. I saw a friend shortly after, he too was struggling and so we walk/ran for a bit, I left him thinking "How will I find the guts to find another 12 miles".
I had the goal to get to Mile 17 as the GF would hopefully be there, The crowds seemed to roar, and even my walk breaks were quick, The heat was immense and even the showers didn't cool us down. By the time I reached the girlfriend at the 17 Mile marker, I was totally broken and did think of calling it a day. "No way" she said... "You can do this. Dont give up!!!", I didn't want to let my friends/family/training buddies/running club/gang down, so stuck at it and carried on...
At Mile 20, the sickness whilst running had eased, and although the dizziness remained, I was loving the whole experience... I had only ever dreamed of this. My plan now was to run 600m and walk 400m,....and by sticking to this, I thought "I can do this".
What an amazing experience, and something I'll never forget, My time didn't bother me at all, it was a task just to overcome illness and finish. I was greeted by my girlfriend with open arms and thankfully 4 cans of San Miguel!!!. The 2-3 mile walk to Park Lane was a task too, and the coach back saw us arrive home at nearly 9.00pm.
Hedge End Running Club (for the ballot place, support/advice, and agreeing that I could run in a charity vest)
My girlfriend (for trudging all over London, putting up with me throughout training, and for giving me a cuddle at 17 x)
My friends and family (for sponsorship, love and support)
Dan (for all training runs and putting up with my whinging)
Anyone who trained with me,.. and Georgie for the gifts that got me through